Phillies announcer Gary Matthews’s “crybabies” on-air comment about the Mets brought to mind the bane of my Mets-watching existence — that I don’t always get the Mets feed of games so I have to listen to the other team’s announcers. I’ve written in the past about how bad some of these men are (and “Sarge” is among the worst), but Matthews’s’ comment reminded me how mean some of them can be about the Mets and New York.
So many announcers make snide comments about the team and especially its fans. For example, one announcer (I can’t remember who it was) was telling a story about his former broadcast partner, the late Ron Santo. He said Santo hated coming to Shea Stadium for two reasons; one was because of the Cubs loss to the Mets in 1969. The other was because during one game at Shea, a foul ball was heading towards the booth. Santo reached out but the ball hit his Rolex watch, which broke the band and the watch went tumbling down into the stands. The watch was never returned. The other guy in the booth smugly said, “Of course.” Now, I’m sure if pressed he would say, “No, what I meant was, of course the watch was gone. Who would return an expensive watch?” But given the context of the conversation, it was clear he was referring to those thieving bastard New Yorkers.
Another comment I remember was on a radio broadcast. I was at the game in 2008 at Dodger Stadium when Angel Pagan landed in the stands chasing a foul ball. He hurt his shoulder and was out for the year. I was listening to the post-game report on the radio on the drive home, and the host recalled how Dodger fans gathered around Pagan to see if he was all right. The other guy said, “In New York, they would only gather around you to spit on you.” And he was dead serious.
The stereotype of the New Yorker as angry, nasty human being is a tired one. It is also not true, but comments like these just perpetuate it.
Another thing with these announcers — I am shocked at how many things they get wrong. Granted, they are not following the Mets every day like we do, so they are not expected to know everything. But still, they are professionals and should not get simple facts wrong. Here are a few things I’ve heard recently:
— On Angel Pagan: “He looks good today, like the guy we saw last year who lost his job this year.” Huh? Pagan never lost his job.
— On David Wright “He’s an average or below average runner.” What? Just look at his stolen base stats.
— My favorite one, on Daniel Murphy: “Murphy is a man without a position. He looks uncomfortable at most of them, except maybe left field.” Has he ever seen Murphy in left field? That was his worst position of all!
I hope and pray Time Warner can figure out how to provide the feeds of both teams by next season. If DirecTV can do it, why can’t stupid Time Warner?